Pa. Senator Introduces Bill That Would Arm Teachers

INDIANA, Pa. (KDKA) — If a Pennsylvania lawmaker gets his way, teachers in the state could soon be able to bring guns into the classroom.

Sen. Don White, a Republican from Indiana County, says teachers should be allowed to protect themselves and students.

Images of the mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School stirred Sen. White to come up with a law that would allow teachers to bring guns in the classroom. He saw the crime scene firsthand.

“I thought I walked into a butcher house. It was just horrible. He did all this damage in four minutes and 50 seconds,” said Sen. White.

But Sen. White faces a lot of opposition from teachers unions, anti-gun groups and Gov. Tom Wolf.

“Don’t want teachers being put in a situation where they’re cowering in a corner as they hear shots and have nothing to do but throw an eraser at them,” Sen. White said.

Some schools have hired armed security guards, but Sen. White says many districts can’t afford them. Still others argue, with guns in the classroom, kids might get their hands on them.

Indiana High School teacher Mark Zilinskas says many Ohio teachers are armed and trained. He says it hasn’t caused any problems.

“We don’t like being faced with the option of hiding and maybe choosing, maybe at some point you shut the door and hope that it doesn’t get broken into,” Zilinskas says.

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The bill has passed a Senate committee. Now, it’s headed to the full Senate and eventually the state House. If it passes, Gov. Wolf is promising to veto it.

The governor is calling for more funding to hire school security guards.

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